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PROGUN Christmas Party at the Supreme Court: Filing of Petition against LTOP and IRR

PROGUN Christmas street party which is the filing of our second petition to annul the LTOP and IRR will be on Monday 22 December 2014 Padre Faura Manila in front of the Supreme Court gate. No food, no drinks, No karaoke, just shouting and cursing angry words LOL! Meet 10am at Robinson's Manila Padre Faura entrance. Park at Mall car park. Hope to see you all there!

It is pathetic that in our democratic society we have to go to the Supreme Court to ensure that our basic rights are not trampled upon. What should come as a matter of course in any free and constitutional society, is hard fought in the Philippines. But this the price we have to pay for freedom. Vigilance is not a mere byword to be forgotten after the hard earned freedom we won in the 1986 EDSA Revolution. Patriotism is not a long lost term relegated to the heroes of the Philippine revolutionary war of 1896. In every generation new people are called up once again to stand up and slay the dragons of oppression and tyranny. Freedom is paid for by the blood and sacrifies of martyrs and heroes. It is our time. It is our fight. It is our responsibility.

Phase 3

Our fight against the oppressive firearms law and rules has now entered into a new phase. Phase 1 was the intial battle in the Supreme Court wherein PROGUN made a show of force and secured a temporary restraining order against the Philippine National Police ("PNP")and the implementation of anti-gun policies. Phase 2 just recently was concluded with the change in leadership within the PNP. Now, we are in Phase 3: which is a second petition in the Supreme Court for annulment of the License to Own and Possess Firearms ("LTOP") and the Implementing Rules and regulations of the oppressive firearms law RA 10591. Phase 4 is a long term fight in Congress and Senate to Amend RA 10591, which would have to wait till after 2016 when there is a change in this current anti-gun presidency and the political landscape.

PROGUN is challenging the LTOP requirement insofar as it is being applied retroactively by the PNP. Being a criminal law, RA 10591 should have only prospective application otherwise it runs afoul with Article 3 sec. 22 of the Constitution which prohibits Ex Post Facto. Simply stated, licensed gun owners who are already in possession of their firearms cannot be compelled to re-apply and re-qualify for a wholly new and more stringent firearms license, since their licenses were already legal and approved before. The same applies to licenses to deal, manufacture, and importation of firearms by entities licensed to engage in such activities.

Can Anyone comply with LTOP and Registration? Why the LTOP is Unconstitutional

As of 23 June 2014 the Philippine National Police has unceremoniously begun requiring all licensed gun owners to "migrate" to the "new system" under recent law RA 10591. Under this new system all existing licensed firearms owners who were previously approved are once again required to re-qualify and submit all over again all new requirements for "license to own and possess" a firearm ("LTOP"). The lengthy requirements such as neuro-psych testing, drug test, intelligence clearance, NBI and court clearance, gun safety seminar, among others, are required to be accomplished by personal appearance at Camp Crame, Quezon City. Due to the closure of PNP regional satellite offices, no license applications, processing, or approvals, may be done in the Provinces, thus requiring a 7 day trip to Metro Manila for 1.7 million licensed gun owners from all over the country. The PNP facilities at Camp Crame Quezon City are limited to a SINGLE hospital. Neuro and psych exams take at least 3 hours, for which assuming a 24 hour basis only 8 applciants could be processed per day. 

PROGUN Opposes the proposed fees of the PNP IRR: An Open Letter to the President and the PNP

PROGUN has learned that the proposed fees in the IRR draft of the PNP for R.A. 10591 are P1600 for registration per gun for every four years. This is in addition to the license fee that must be paid by the gun owner whether Type 1 to 5, ranging from P1000 to P10,000 per gun owner. We strongly oppose such proposed fees as being excessive and exhorbitant. If such fees were to be implemented, then gun licensing costs would be practically the same as under the old law, which is what the new law RA 10591 was intended to address and reform. We also note that the registration fee for airguns and airsoft guns is only P500, hence why should registration of firearms be higher when registration of a gun of whatever nature involves the very same act of entering the information in the database?

The law RA 10591 likewise specifically provides that the licensing fees must be reasonable.

The splitting of licensing and registration under RA 10591, and the adoption of the Type 1 to 5 individual licensing was intended precisely to make licensing costs LOWER and more affordable for gun owners. However, by increasing the registration fees up to P1600 per gun, coupled with the payment of a separate license fee of Type to 5, the costs have practically returned to the level that it was under the old law PD 1866, as amended.

Comments and Suggested Inputs to the PNP Draft Implementing Rules and Regulations for RA 10591

Hereunder are our comments and suggested inputs for the Draft PNP Implementing Rules and Regulations for RA 10591. These comments and suggestions were arrived at a joint effort by PROGUN, Pinoyguns, Lock n Load, and allied organizations and supporters, after several months of discussion and consultation. Please note the following:

1. In spite of our request, we are not members of the technical working group of the PNP (TWG-PNP) for the drafting of the IRR, which we understand is being done under a closed-door policy. We disclaim that we have any direct participation in this process of discussing and drafting the IRR apart from these comments and our attendance at the PNP Open Forum at Camp Crame.

2. Nevertheless, we understand that TWG-PNP is accepting comments and suggestions from civilian stakeholders and organizations. It is in this light that we are submitting these comments and suggested inputs.

3. We have no assurance, and neither are we making any assurance, that our comments and suggestions will be considered or included in the final draft of the IRR. 


Suggested inputs and comments to the PNP Draft Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 10591

UPDATE: On the IRR of RA 10591

Just as an update today we participated in the Public Consultation Hearing for the PNP Draft of the Implementing Rules and Regulations. Notably, a number of people who showed up complained that they were neither invited to participate nor informed. Nevertheless, in the limite time of less than two hours that was allotted to the open forum, a number of stakeholders inckluding PROGUN were able to give their brief suggestions, albeit incomplete, orally, while reserving our right to submit a written position paper or draft suggestions to the IRR Secretariat. According to the PNP, all drafts and suggestions "will be considered and noted", but not necessarily approved to be included. Additional public consultations will be held for regional stakeholders and concerns.

PROGUN will be submitting its position paper in conjunction with allied organizations such as Pinoyguns and Lock n Load.

In sum, we noted the following:

We scored a number of victories in this IRR. But some negative points have remained:

1. Gen. Gil Meneses stated that the SAME FEES that are being charged now, will continue to be charged under the new law. So, since the draft IRR of the PNP states that the fee for ALL TYPES of licenses shall be THE SAME, then it will definitely be cheaper for us who own several guns. 

An Open Letter to President Aquino: PNP rubber Stamp for Implementing Rules and Regulations for RA 10591?

Dear President Aquino,

News has just come out today that the Philippine National Police (PNP) is holding a "public hearing" on Thursday 15 August 2013 at 9am-5pm at Camp Crame for "public consultations" on their draft of the Implementing Rules and regulations (IRR), which had already been made and prepared, for the new Philippine Firearms Law Republic Act No. 10591. This apparently is a clear violation of what is provided in sec.44 of the law which states that the IRR shall be formulated AFTER public hearings and consultations with concerned sectors of society, viz:

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